The student-athletes who sign up for NIL sponsorships with fashion stylist Laura Fedock quickly learn the process of working with a seasoned fashion stylist and personal shopper is not only fun, but all fashion decisions are equally strategic. This NIL agreement isn’t simply an exchange of services and compensation. Fedock, whose brand is “Life+Style by Laura,” intends to make deeper positive impacts in their lives, giving them support, educating them on the importance of personal branding and their image, spending money wisely with a fashion budget, and a lot of genuine encouragement as they build their brand–not only as athletes on social media–but as genuinely happy people.
Fedock’s Dallas-based brand began extending its influence in the NIL space shortly after last year’s NCAA announcement of an interim policy that enables college athletes to receive compensation for use of their name, image, and likeness. Life+Style by Laura is now sponsoring athletes from multiple universities who represent several sports – football, basketball, and baseball. Fedock says she’s giving her NIL partners “elite fashion styling services,” and those services are different for every athlete, depending on the need. “Each new sponsored partner receives a welcome gift, a VIP gift basket prior to the season (think what NFL agents gift their football athletes before spring training, but with a fashion twist). This gift basket is valued at $2000+, so it’s a very big deal to these athletes. The basket contains sneakers, strategically selected clothing, jewelry, and many other items. No two baskets are the same.” There is nothing cookie cutter about this process for Fedock. Further, the athletes are also offered two virtual styling appointments per week and enjoy the whole shopping process with Fedock throughout the entirety of their sponsorship with a generous shopping budget (also gifted from Life+Style by Laura). Fedock says that she’s seen some of her NIL partners get very emotional when they open their fashion deliveries and especially the large gift basket. They are moved by the careful personalization of the items they receive, but also because so many of these guys come from humble upbringings. “It feels like Christmas for them,” Fedock says.
The benefits of a partnership with Fedock aren’t just in the form of tangible items or style direction. She also helps them prepare for some important life moments. For example, University of Michigan Football wide receiver Andrel Anthony did not need sneakers for his welcome gift. He already has a large collection of shoes, so Fedock worked closely with Anthony to build outfits around some of his favorite sneakers. “We are in contact every week with virtual styling technology to pick out the perfect looks, all together helping Anthony with his every-day attire and clothing that will help him prepare for public appearances.” As a part of his deal, Texas Tech quarterback Tyler Shough’s welcome gift was a selection of clothing for his summer Cabo beach vacation. Besides selecting clothing for Shough, Laura also helped style Shough’s long-time girlfriend, Jordan. Jordan was unaware, but Shough was proposing on this summer trip. “It was so much fun to help both of them! They are amazing together! I was in on the secret, and it makes my heart so happy that I could even play a small part in this wedding proposal. A day the two of them will remember forever.” Even more, Laura says she is looking forward to helping Tyler this upcoming season, and also styling Jordan for the football games.
Fedock is now partnering with athletes from Texas Tech, Texas A&M, USC, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Baylor, Michigan, UAB, and more. She was already busy and successful before NIL, as she’s worked with many long-time clients including professional athletes and celebrities. She says she genuinely cares about her student-athlete partners and wants to help them develop as successful humans: “I want to be someone in their life who is not a ‘yes’ person. I don’t have to do this, but I want to. I want what is best for the players. I want them to be happy in life, and not just on social media. I literally help with all aspects of their lives. And more than anything, I genuinely care about them as individuals.”
Fedock says she’s currently the only fashion stylist in the country who has created NIL sponsorships with her brand. She’s getting a steady stream of partnership requests from agents and athletes. She hasn’t been able to add all of the eager prospective partners to her sponsor list. It’s easy to understand the limits on her time considering that in addition to giving personalized attention to her sponsorship partners, she also nurtures relationships with almost every luxury brand – and 1,000 clients. Still, she has worked to offer guidance to some of the athletes who are not official brand partners. “If I cannot take them on as an official NIL athlete, I can help be their fashion plug. I will help them find sneakers and certain items without having to pay the ridiculous prices you see on certain web sites after a coveted sneaker has been released.”
Life+Style by Laura student-athlete brand partners make posts about their experiences with the brand on social media, and many of those posts express excitement over new clothing. Fedock hopes that her brand makes deep, long-term impacts in the lives of the players: “I want to teach them how to spend their money properly. I want to help them look a little more polished and to help them gain confidence. The work that I do is literally branding a person. Before I decide if a particular athlete is a good fit, I want to know, ‘Do they want to grow? What makes them happy?’ Because what we are doing is not picking out socks. The way you dress is how the world sees you. Let’s bring on the confidence and charisma. I’m all for it! And not to mention, this is so much fun. As it should be – it’s fashion!”